Phil Brook @openplanliving
Times are certainly tough in Europe at the moment with the European Union battling to save the euro and deal with the continuing fallout of the GFC. The UK is currently revelling in a momentous year that celebrates the queen’s Diamond Jubilee and will shortly play host to the 2012 Olympic Games. However, with property prices at the lowest levels in recent years, can London and the area’s outside the city expect an upturn in wake of the games or will it be another costly extravaganza leaving behind empty shells only visited by tourists?
Since the 2008 games, China’s magnificent ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium has at times been relegated to a winter amusement park and the $14.4 billion Games in Athens has been cited by some as a source of its crippling financial woes. Certainly not the kind of results London will be hoping for.
“London is still a solid investment,” remarks Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, in an interview with REIT.com. “What is planned for Lee Valley (a previously derelict area developed for athletic training)… is absolutely stunning,” says Liz. “I think we are going to see a whole new area of London opened up, that this would not have happened if we hadn’t had the Olympics.” While London will always fair well as a great global city, it will take careful economic planning to invigorate the market outside of London, but the two week party will certainly be a welcome diversion from these austere times.
Words by Phil Brook